Hurple Hoopla

Friday, February 10, 2006

The "Should Have Been" Files, Part 1


The Greenberry Woods


I spent some time over the past weekend going through some old CD folders, y'know those big notebook looking things that hold 120 CDs in pouches on "pages." Anyway, while flipping through, I found a CD on which I'd stored some old MP3s. This particular CD of MP3s was of some old albums I had to get rid of, at one time or another, to clear some space for newer albums. See, space is limited, and with thousands of CDs, I sometimes have to weed out a few things. Sometimes, the weeding costs me things I love to listen to, on occasion, but just doesn't seem special enough to keep. My David Baerwald "catalog" fell into that category, until I rescued it from the "garage sale" pile after getting to hear the genius of "Here Comes The New Folk Underground." Of course, here are some that are immune to weeding, The entire Beatles catalog, Tom Petty (well, except for the last few albums... Those suck badger balls!), The Who, and a few others.

I look at the titles on the CD I found, and one artist name catches my attention, The Greenberry Woods. I remember getting their CDs while working at a record store in Tullahoma TN. The store got them as "promotional" items, and I was the lucky employee who got to keep them after their promotional period was over. Looking at the CD, I recalled actually finding their CDs quite entertaining. I plopped the CD into my computer drive and fired up WinAmp. Soon, the Beatlesque music and harmonies (the guys sounded rather like Jellyfish, but leaning more toward the Beatles end of their influences, instead of the Queen influence) filled my ears. Wow! These guys were a great band.

Suddenly, I was hit by the urge to know what ever happened to this bunch of musicians. I typed their name in at AllMusic.com. Here's what they have to say:

Although Maryland power-poppers the Greenberry Woods seemed to have the right ingredients for success -- songwriting and musical talent, a quickly secured major-label contract, and a positive reaction from power pop fans -- the band self-destructed after only two albums. Songwriters/vocalists/guitarists Ira Katz and Matt Huseman formed the Greenberry Woods at the University of Maryland after meeting in 1988 as sophomores and forging a songwriting partnership. The lineup was completed by Huseman's twin brother Brandt on bass and drummer Miles Rosen. After Katz and Huseman graduated, they moved back to Baltimore and made an immediate splash on the local scene. Band manager John Lay, whose previous clients included Squeeze and Robyn Hitchcock, was well-connected and able to secure the Greenberry Woods a deal with Sire in February 1993 after a show in New York. Their debut album, Rapple Dapple, was released in 1994, and the single "Trampoline" garnered a fair amount of radio airplay. Supporting tour slots with such acts as Deborah Harry and the Proclaimers followed, but inexperience hurt the band, as their live rapport had not quite been developed enough prior to their signing. Support from Sire dwindled following its move from Reprise to Elektra, and tensions arose in the band due to the Husemans' side project Splitsville, undertaken with Woods guitar tech Paul Krysiak. Matters became worse during the recording of 1995's Big Money Item, as the presence of three songwriters with their own individual ambitions took its toll on group harmony. Sire released the band from its contract in 1996, leaving the Husemans free to pursue Splitsville; meanwhile, Katz formed a new band, Wonderfool, while Rosen quit music to become a mortgage banker.


That's too bad, because the "review" is right on, these guys did have everything necessary to "make it." If you can find either of their CDs, "Rapple Dapple," or "Big Money Item" somewhere for a few bucks, pick them up. I've rescued mine from the "garage sale" pile, myself. Yeah, they've been in the "garage sale" pile for about 3 years now, but this stuff is just too cool to get rid of...

1 Comments:

  • Hey There,
    Thanks for your comments about the Greenberry Woods, who, as you know are now Splitsville.
    Splitsvillie is still together, and you can check out the band on AllMusic.com, CDBaby.com, iTunes, etc. You can listen to a few tracks too, at www.myspace.com/splitsville.

    Great site, too. Your reviews of the T-Heads (one of my earliest faves) was spot on.

    By Blogger Mentalist, at 2:26 PM  

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